Linkage to care

In West Africa, rapid HIV testing is available and offered at health sites, with results provided within 15 minutes. Most countries – with the exception of Guinea-Conakry and The Gambia – antiretroviral therapy (ART) is initiated for those who test positive according to the ‘Test and Treat’ protocol. In The Gambia, ART is initiated when CD4 is equal to or less than 300 copies/ml, and in Guinea-Conakry, when CD4 count is less than 500 copies/ml.

Regardless of ART initiation protocols, more must be done to link people living with HIV to treatment are care. Currently, only pregnant women and female people who inject drugs, who are already linked to health services for other conditions, are likely to be connected to HIV care and treatment services.

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